Most cinemas are awful these days- crappy sets, people talking on phones constantly, cheap and not particularly nice food, and lots of hassles waiting in lines.
Some theatres have gone about trying to make a ‘luxury’ experience and are better for it. Places like the Arclight in Los Angeles or Muvico in Chicago have moved toward that – plusher and wider seats, more leg room, better food at the counters and so on. Yet they’re still not entirely what you would call a first class experience.
Now, Village Roadshow is planning to extend its Gold Class cinema experience, which have worked superbly here in Australia, to the US.
The first of 50 new Gold Class theatres is scheduled to open in Chicago later this year – auditoriums that have a 40-seat-maximum capacity, digital 2D & 3D projection, an over 18/21 age limit, reclining armchair seats with footrests, valet parking, a lounge and bar serving cocktails and appetizers, and upscale chef prepared food and beverage offerings with seat-side waiter service.
The company has been running more than 100 Gold Class theatres in Australia for a decade to great success, and hope to expand the brand. There’s one catch to all this though – the price.
Whilst in Oz the price is about US $24 per ticket (about double that of the regular US $12 ticket price), plans are for US $35 per ticket in these new chains – and that doesn’t include food or alcohol purchases.
Are you willing to pay such a premium, especially when the likes of Regal Entertainment, Cinemark, National Amusements and Sundance Cinemas offer similar services at around half the price?